Asian Agri has helped with the replanting of 310 hectares of oil palm plantation owned by 135 partner smallholders grouped under Mulus Rahayu Cooperative Village Unit (KUD). Asian Agri currently partners 75 KUDs across Riau and Jambi.
Pawito Saring, chairman of KUD Mulus Rahayu, said that although the decision to conduct replanting in 2016 was hard, but the process resulted in a successful harvest at the end of 2018.
“It was hard because during the replanting process, we did not have any income,” Saring said.
However, their doubts were resolved when Asian Agri provided assistance ranging from training to providing new sources of livelihood, such as cattle, poultry, fish and seeds.
“The company gave us catfish seeds and sent us to join training in Java,” said Saring, adding the program has helped the smallholders to run alternative business.
The replanting process was funded by the Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund Agency (BPDPKS) which allotted a total of Rp3.2 billion.
Rafmen, Asian Agri’s Deputy Head of Partnership, said that partner smallholders who have not set up an alternative business during the replanting process could still earn a living working on the replanting itself.
“They would receive a salary which is based on regional minimum wages regulation,” he said.